Grading NBA teams based on their draft picks

Grading NBA teams based on their draft picks

The NBA Draft took place on Nov. 18th, and it was slightly different than normal. It took place virtually, and much later than normal. This gave players a chance to be with their family during one of the biggest moments in their lives. With that being said, here are the grades for the top 14 picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards – Georgia B+ 

With the first pick, the Timberwolves made the right choice. They chose the best overall player in the draft, Anthony Edwards. Typically a player like this would get an A+ grade, however, his motivation and enthusiasm just isn’t enough to become great. Edwards even admitted to not being able to watch a full NBA game because it gets too “boring”.

  1. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman – Memphis  A+

The Golden State Warriors had debatably the best team in NBA history just a couple of years ago, however, they ended up with the worst team record in the entire NBA due to injuries. They picked, in my opinion, the player with the brightest future in this draft, James Wiseman. There was no chance the Warriors would pass on this opportunity, they got their 7’1 Center who spent the last five years of his life training with an NBA Hall of Famer, Penny Hardaway.

  1. Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball – Illawarra Hawks (Australia) A-

The Charlotte Hornets had the 3rd overall pick, 6’7 point guard, LaMelo Ball. While his brother, Lonzo, is a solid role player, I think LaMelo can be more than that. If he sharpens his decision-making skills, he could grow to be one of the most lethal offensive guards in the NBA.

  1. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams – Florida State B

The Chicago Bulls made a very questionable decision by drafting Patrick Williams with the 4th overall pick. He was a bench player in college who averaged single-digits in every stat category. However, he fixes the big hole Chicago has with his 6’8, 228lb frame and defense ability. The Bulls were swinging for the fences on this one, and it might just work.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Isaac Okoro – Auburn B+

The Cavaliers had the 5th overall pick, along with the worst team record in the Eastern Conference last year. They need Isaac Okoro to be great. He is athletic and will not hesitate to dunk over any defender, however, this could clash with Cleveland’s already ball-dominant, young core.

  1. Atlanta Hawks – Onyeka Okongwu – USC A

With the 6th pick, the Hawks drafted 6’9 Onyeka Okongwu from USC. The Hawks have two other players playing the same role as Okongwu, which is the only thing holding them back from an A+ grade. He is a perfect fit with Trae Young and will be a solid addition to their bench.

  1. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes – Ratiopharm (Germany) A

The Detroit Pistons had the best overall performance in this draft. Killian Hayes is a fantastic playmaker who has a profound basketball IQ, and just needs some performance work and time. The Pistons have exactly that with their rebuild process just beginning.

  1. New York Knicks – Obi Toppin – Dayton A-

Obi Toppin is a straight-up athlete at 6’9. He grew up in New York playing basketball on legendary courts like Rucker Park. He was one of the most impressive players in college this year, winning the Naismith and Associated Press Player of the Year awards. However, the Knicks have struggled to give their rookies a platform to great in the past couple of years.

  1. Washington Wizards – Deni Avdija – Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) B+

Just a couple of weeks ago, Deni Avdija was projected to be the 4th overall pick but has drastically fallen due to the fact that he couldn’t come to the U.S to workout for these teams. The Wizards could have gotten an absolute steal with the 9th overall pick, however, Avdija just doesn’t fit what Washington already has in place on offense.

  1. Phoenix Suns – Jalen Smith – Maryland C+

Jalen Smith is a fantastic shot blocker and force under the basket. He has serious potential to be great, however, the Phoenix Suns drafted a player very similar to him just two years ago with the 1st overall pick in Deandre Ayton. Smith relies on other players to get him the ball and the Sun’s bench just doesn’t have that.

  1. San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell – Florida State A+

Devin Vassell has potential to be a combination of Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson with the right development team. The Spurs have exactly that. With debatably the best young core in the league along with one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, Gregg Popovic, Vassell has to be thrilled to be drafted by this organization. With a 6’9 wingspan on only a 6’6 player, Vassell has an outstanding defensive ability along with shooting stroke.

  1. Sacramento Kings – Tyrese Haliburton – Iowa State A+

Haliburton was projected to fall around the 6th overall pick in nearly every mock draft out there just before the draft. Almost magically, he fell to the Sacramento Kings, the team that best suits him. He is the perfect duo for their rising star, De’Aaron Fox. Haliburton’s stats are not the most impressive, due to his unselfishness with the ball and ability to make the best decision at all times. This 6’5 guard is the biggest steal of the draft.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Kira Lewis Jr. – Alabama B-

Kira Lewis Jr. is a speedster, extremely fast and thrilling to watch, he will make this New Orleans Pelicans team even more exciting than before. With last year’s first overall pick, Zion Williamson, being already one of the most fun players to watch in the league catching passes from the other side of the court and dunking right over anybody, Lewis Jr. will do nothing but make him better and even more fun.

  1. Boston Celtics – Aaron Nesmith – Vanderbilt C

The Celtics had the 14th pick in the first round, however, didn’t make the greatest decision. They selected 6’6 Aaron Nesmith, a fantastic shooter who will be nothing more than an okay player and passed up on other potential stars.